NASA Education Express Message — Nov. 16, 2017

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  #TeacherOnBoard — Can We Please Just Get Along?
All Educators and Students

Have you ever wondered how #TeacherOnBoard Joe Acaba and his space station crewmates learn to get along so well? To prepare for spaceflight missions, astronauts learn and practice critical “people skills” like how to work as a team, how to communicate effectively, and how to make the most of each other’s differences. The training flow is called Expeditionary Skills, and it has been adapted for use with students – including video messages from astronauts and grade-level appropriate lesson plans.

Find more ways to get involved during NASA’s A Year of Education on Station, a celebration of an almost 12-month presence of a teacher on board the International Space Station.

Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA: EarthKAM
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-9
Event Date: Nov. 21, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar overview of the Sally Ride EarthKAM program. During Sally Ride EarthKAM missions, middle school students request images of specific locations on Earth. EarthKAM includes a collection of images, accompanying activities and resources to engage students in Earth and space science, geography, social studies, mathematics, communications and art. Online registration is required.

  NOAA’s Planet Stewards Education Project
K-12, Higher Education and Informal Educators
Application Deadline: Nov. 27, 2017
Contact: Bruce.Moravchik@NOAA.GOV 

The NOAA Planet Stewards Education Project seeks applications from formal and informal educators working with elementary- through university-age students to join the 2018 Stewardship Community. Accepted educators will take part in professional development and will receive collaborative tools and support to develop a stewardship project. Projects should be hands-on and action-based to conserve, restore, or protect human communities and natural resources related to NOAA’s mission.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2017-2018 University Student Design Challenge at NASA’s Glenn Research Center
Audience: Undergraduate Students
New Registration Deadline: Nov. 30, 2017

NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio is hosting a 2017-2018 University Student Design Challenge with aeronautics and space themes. The competition is open to teams of full-time undergraduate students who are juniors or seniors enrolled at accredited U.S. academic institutions. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged. Each university or college team must have at least one faculty advisor. Participants will have access to Glenn subject matter experts who will serve as mentors for the student teams.

  Help Nickname New Horizons’ Next Flyby Target
All Educators and Students
Entry Deadline: 3 p.m. EST on Dec. 1, 2017

On New Year’s Day 2019, the New Horizons spacecraft will fly past a small, frozen world at the outer edge of our solar system. Officially, the small world is known as “(486958) 2014 MU69.” NASA and the New Horizons team are asking for help in giving “MU69” a nickname. Visit the site to submit ideas and to vote on names currently under consideration. Submissions and voting closes at 3 p.m. EST/noon PST on Dec. 1, 2017. NASA and the New Horizons team will announce the winning nickname in January.

eCYBERMISSION Competition, Sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program
Audience: Students in Grades 6-9
Registration Deadline: Dec. 13, 2017

Registration is open for eCYBERMISSION competition, sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program. Free to students, this web-based competition challenges teams to identify a problem in their community and use scientific inquiry or the engineering design process to investigate or propose a solution to that problem. Teams compete for state, regional and national awards of up to $9,000 in U.S. savings bonds. eCYBERMISSION provides a wealth of online resources for student teams and for team advisors to assist with project completion.

  Department of Energy’s Scholars Program 2018
Audience: Undergraduate and Graduate Students; Postgraduates
Application Deadline: Dec. 15, 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Scholars Program introduces college students and recent college graduates to the Department of Energy’s mission and operations. Participants apply their education, talent and skills in a variety of scientific research settings. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and be an undergraduate, graduate or recent postgraduate of an accredited institute of higher education. Internships typically last 10 weeks during the summer months, and stipends are provided.

Department of Homeland Security’s Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions
Audience: Faculty Members at Minority Serving Institutions
Application Deadline: Dec. 29, 2017

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions provides faculty and student research teams the opportunity to do research at the university-based DHS Centers of Excellence. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and at an eligible MSI at the time of application. Selected faculty will be invited to submit a team application including a research project proposal developed in collaboration with a DHS Center researcher and applications from one or two qualified students.

  Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Innovators Program
Audience: Recent College Graduates (Undergraduate and Graduate)
Application Deadline: Jan. 8, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Innovators Program enables recent graduates to do research on solutions to the challenges faced in the deployment of solar energy. Innovators will work with a mentor at a utility, energy service provider, or electric public utility commission currently conducting research related to the integration of solar energy onto the electricity grid. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Appointments are for up to two years, and stipends are provided.

2018-2019 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Proposal Deadline: Feb. 1, 2018
Earth Science Contact:
Space Science Contact: 

The NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship program is accepting proposals for the 2018-2019 academic year. Applications must be from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in Earth and space sciences, or related disciplines. NASA will award training grants to the respective universities, with the advisor serving as principal investigator. The maximum NESSF award is $45,000 per year.

  Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA: Comets
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Nov. 16, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar to learn about comets with hands-on activities. Participants will get an overview of assessment strategies, including a discussion of specific applications of these strategies, and NASA STEM comet resources for the classroom. Online registration is required.

2018-2019 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship
K-12 STEM Educators
Application Deadline: Nov. 16, 2017, at 8 p.m. EST

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship is a paid fellowship for K-12 science, mathematics, engineering and technology teachers. Einstein Fellows spend a school year in the Washington, D.C., area serving in a federal agency or on Capitol Hill. Applicants must be U.S. citizens currently employed full time in a U.S. elementary or secondary school or school district. Applicants must have been teaching STEM full time for at least five of the last seven years.

  2018 RASC-AL Special Edition: Mars Ice Challenge Competition
Audience: Full-time Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Project Plan Submission Deadline: Nov. 16, 2017

This engineering design and technology demonstration contest challenges teams to design, build and test prototype systems capable of extracting water from simulated Martian subsurface ice. Up to 10 teams will be selected to participate in a multi-day competition in June 2018 at NASA’s Langley Research Center. In addition to the technology demonstrations, participation includes the submission of a technical paper and poster presentation to NASA and industry judges that details the team concept’s “path-to-fight” (i.e. essential modifications required to operate their system on Mars).

Fly Your Exoplanet on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
Audience: All Educators and Students
Submission Deadline: Nov. 20, 2017

Set to launch in June 2018, TESS is an explorer-class planet finder and will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants. As the TESS team prepares for launch, it invites the public to ponder what exoplanets might look like and share their ideas in the form of sketches and graphics. This opportunity is open to all ages and skill levels.

 Line drawing of an exoplanet
  CubeSat Launch Opportunity
Audience: K-12, Higher Education Educators and Students
Proposal Deadline: Nov. 21, 2017

NASA is seeking proposals for small satellite payloads to fly on rockets planned to launch or be deployed from the International Space Station between 2018 and 2021. The CubeSat Launch Initiative gives students, teachers and faculty a chance to get hands-on, flight hardware development while designing, building and operating small research satellites. This opportunity is open to U.S. nonprofit organizations and accredited educational organizations.

2018 Space Port Area Conference for Educators
Audience: K-12 Educators
Proposal Deadline for Presentations: Nov. 30, 2017
Event Date: July 11-13, 2018

Save the date for the 2018 Space Port Area Conference for Educators, or SPACE, taking place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This conference is for K-12 educators who are U.S. citizens teaching in the United States. Experience stimulating presentations from astronauts and NASA science and engineering experts; tour Kennedy and surrounding facilities. Get ready-to-go lesson plans and creative ideas to infuse your classroom with STEM and multifaceted, space-related content. 

Are you interested in presenting at the conference? Presentation proposals are due Nov. 30, 2017, for priority review. Proposals received after this date will be reviewed based on availability.

  Aviation Space Writers Foundation Award
Researchers of Aerospace Topics
Application Deadline: Dec. 1, 2017

The National Air and Space Museum is offering a $5,000 grant to support research on aerospace topics that results in a product suitable for potential public dissemination in print, electronic, broadcast or other visual medium. Potential topics include contemporary aviation or space events of interest to the public; significant persons, historical events or trends that illuminate the history of human flight in air and space; records; or compendia of aerospace source material.

Free Educator Workshop — Network of States II: Classroom Lunacy and EV3 Robotics
Audience: NASA Network of States Educators Phase 2 and In-service STEM Educators of Grades 5-12 Interested in Joining the NASA Network of States Educator Institute
Registration Deadline: Dec. 4, 2017 (maximum of 30 participants)
Event Date: Dec. 9, 2017, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST

Join the Stennis Space Center Office of Education for a free workshop to train in the use and security of lunar and meteorite sample disks. Workshop participants will be certified to borrow lunar and meteorite sample disks from NASA for use in the classroom. The workshop also will include a short EV3 robotics follow-up training session. The workshop will be held at the Infinity Science Center in Pearlington, Mississippi. (Map).

  BIG Idea Challenge 2018
Audience: Full-time Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Entry Deadline: Nov. 30, 2017

NASA’s 2018 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge seeks innovations in the design, installation and sustainable operation of a large solar power system on Mars. Top teams present their concepts via a design review at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia or NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio. The winning team will receive NASA internship offers.

Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut — Walk Around the Earth Challenge
Audience: All Educators and Students
Challenge Dates: Oct. 2 – Dec. 7, 2017

To prepare for an Earth-to-moon journey in 2018, online mascot Astro Charlie is making a trip around Earth. Mission X is challenging Fit Explorers to work together to perform activities that will move Astro Charlie the 66 million steps required to walk around Earth! That’s 25,000 miles, or 40,000 kilometers! Visit the website for full challenge details and to do your part to help reach the globe-trotting goal.

  Future Engineers: Two for the Crew Challenge
Audience: K-12 Students
Entry Deadline: Dec. 19, 2017

Calling all students! Use your ingenuity to create a tool that combines the functions of two objects already being used by crew aboard the International Space Station! Visit the challenge website to find out about space station tools and to get brainstorming resources to help you create a design. The site provides links to free 3-D design software. The winning design will be 3-D printed on the station. Prizes include “3-D Printing in Space” prize packs, a 3-D printer for your school and a trip to Washington, D.C.!

Are you looking for NASA educational materials to support your STEM curriculum?
Search hundreds of resources by subject, grade level, type and keyword at

Find NASA science resources for your classroom. NASA Wavelength is a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels — from elementary to college, to out-of-school programs.

Check out the ‘Explore NASA Science’ website! Science starts with questions, leading to discoveries. Visit To view the site in Spanish, visit

Take part in a Year of Education on Station. September 2017 – September 2018: Although on different crews, astronauts Joe Acaba and Ricky Arnold – both former teachers – will work aboard the International Space Station. Visit NASA’s A Year of Education on Station website for out-of-this-world resources and opportunities for K-16 students and educators.

Do you just want to receive weekly updates on NASA Education opportunities relating to science? Sign up for the NASA Education “Science WOW!” newsletter for science opportunities delivered to your inbox “Weekly on Wednesdays!”



Visit NASA Education on the Web:
NASA Education:
For Educators:
For Students:
NASA Kids’ Club:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *